This morning Jesus and His disciples were on their way to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. They drew near Bethphage (House of unripe figs) from Bethany (House of Ripe Figs) at the mountain called “The Mount of Olives” (Luke 19:29).
It was there, Jesus sends two of His disciples to get a donkey and a colt to ride into Jerusalem. Remember what Jesus has told His disciples before arriving at Jericho while discerning His time was near, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, And shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again.” (Matthew 20:18-19)
And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto Me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet (as was prophesied about 500 years before Jesus Christ’s virgin birth found in Zechariah 9:9), saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
And the disciples did as Jesus had commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their cloth on them. After Jesus mounted onto the donkey, they were descending from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem and a whole multitude of His disciples began to rejoice and praise God, And when He was come nigh, even now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. (Luke 19:37-38)
And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. (Matthew 21:8-11)
Hosanna is a very interesting word, it literally means: ‘save, rescue.’So the crowd were literally crying out to the Savior and the Eternal King (Jesus Christ), “Help! Save us! Rescue us Lord” as soon as the multitudes saw Jesus Christ coming (John 12:16-18) This day was forseen and written roughly between 500 to a 1000 years before Jesus Christ’s birth in great detail concerning the Lord Himself in Psalm 118:19-29 “Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation (rescue).
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord‘s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
Blessed be He that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord. God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever.”
Luke 19:39-44 (Jesus corrects the Pharisee’s and weeps over Jerusalem as they were descending to the temple and He prophesies of the destruction of the Holy Temple which was fulfilled in 70 A.D by the hands of the Roman empire)
“And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him (Jesus), Master, rebuke thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”
Now Jesus finally enters Jerusalem and as He was entering the Holy Temple, He see’s people buying and selling and He drove out those who bought and sold
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Why did Jesus do this? I believe when Jesus saw the activity surrounding the Holy Temple, had nothing to do with prayer or a place where people can learn about God (since Jesus was teaching there) or get right with God at the alter “My house shall be called the house of prayer.” But became a place of commerce instead. It appears that Jesus was more concerned about the Temple being defiled on the surface. But rather Jesus was more concerned about the souls of people who being distracted away from prayer and seeking God.
Now in Jesus’ day, if people traveled so far where they couldn’t bring a sacrifice because the animal would not have survive the trip or some people were poor and didn’t have any money to buy an offering to bring before the Lord, since they could not come before the Lord empty handed (Deuteronomy 16:16) They would have to buy a sacrifice from the sellers at the Temple to present to the appointed priest as an offering unto the Lord on behalf of themselves or family. But the seller’s sold Kosher sacrifical animals at high prices what common people couldn’t afford, perhaps it was because the chief priests and the pharisee’s rented out those booths at the Temple at a steep price to begin with (Luke 16:14).
So in order for the seller to make some profit for their hard work raising sacrificial animals while paying for the booths at the pharisee’s prices, it became a place of corrupted commerce “a den of thieves”, which made Jesus mad as it was also written about the Lord Psalm 69:9 “For the zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon Me.”
When churches are more concerned about making money rather than souls going to Hell, there lies underneath the surface the love of money (greed) which is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10) which brings forth all kinds of corruption and spiritual death. Therefore I believe Jesus was discerning the greed of the whole operation, and with righteous anger He cleared out His Fathers Temple from the greed and corruption that were present.
After Jesus cleared His Fathers house (the Holy Temple) Jesus heals the blind and the lame who were there. As the chief priest’s saw all that Jesus has done and seeing the children crying out saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were angry and confronted Jesus, But Jesus corrected them (Matthew 21:14-16) (John 12:19) After this, certain Greeks came up to see Jesus in person in John 12:20-50
And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Jesus was ministering about His death and resurrection. He must die and be burried in order to live again and give eternal life. He further ministers the cost of following Him
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honour. Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name.
God The Father testifies of His Son publically and Jesus ministers the purpose of His death
Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to Him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out (Jesus refering to the devil). And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This He said, signifying what death He should die. (Jesus Christ will be raised up on the cross for the remission of sins for many)
The people answered Him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest Thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.
These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide Himself from them. But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? (Isaiah 53:1)
Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. (Isaiah 6:9-10) These things said Esaias, when he saw His glory, and spake of Him.
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him (God the Father) that sent Me. And he that seeth Me seeth Him (God the Father) that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge Him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath One that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day (Revelation 20:11-15). For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.”
Now at evening Jesus goes back to the temple and apparently the booths and the money changers tables are set up again and people are buying and selling. And Jesus looks around but does nothing at this time because it was late in the evening Mark 11:11
And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when He had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide (evening) was come, He went out unto Bethany with the twelve.